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How to Build an Inspiring Intranet

If I were to write a mission statement for an Intranet, it would look something like this:

Our Intranet will connect and empower our employees so that they turn our customers into inspired advocates of our company. 

An Intranet should be thought of as a key strategic software asset for our firms that we invest in appropriately. The tools our people and teams use to get their jobs done, interact with our customers, or just to share information and best practices, are priceless. However, this is only true if our employees genuinely utilize and become passionately engaged by the Intranet, because it is effective in helping them do their jobs. 

The Loyalty Ladder for software products applies directly to an Intranet. In this case, it simply implies that the goal for an Intranet should be to achieve advocacy from its users. To achieve any level of advocacy, they first have to be loyal users of the software; At the lowest level, they must trust it before they will even give it a chance. 

Trust: When they look at it for the first time, you want them to think to themselves: 

“Yes. This is going to work for me. I’m in the right place to get these questions answered or to provide world class service in my role.”

For this to impact your users enough to trust and adopt your Intranet, you must carefully architect how you will match them to the right functionality at the right time, especially in their initial uses of the system. Your intranet can be used as an onboarding platform to engage new employees to meet their teams, provide some subtle training on your corporate values and culture, and get them trained on the use of the Intranet. However, it must be beautiful and aligned with your brand. It must help them accomplish their most mundane tasks in fun and engaging ways. 

They should connect with it as early as possible and adopt it as a valuable resource. We can measure trust by determining levels of interaction, such as how likely people are to add their personal photos to their avatars on our Intranet or fill out their personal profiles. 

Loyalty: A system is only valuable if it is used. The network effect would imply that it becomes exponentially more useful the more people use it – this is particularly true for intranets. It must become a way to connect with your people, not only with the knowledge they need to be successful, but with their peers and colleagues as well. It should be a place where you work to connect your organization’s “why,” to provide meaning to the work they are doing. We know that loyalty comes from the four loyalty factors and they all apply to an Intranet.

They should use it almost every day and come to rely on it as a source of extremely valuable information that improves their work-life. We can measure how loyal our employees are to it via the number of times they log into it on a recurring basis. 

Advocacy: Advocacy is the ultimate measure of any software’s success . This is particularly true for an Intranet. When our employees go out of their way to recommend features and contribute and share content to help other employees do their jobs – we will know that we have succeeded. 

Once we have our Intranet firing on all cylinders, we should never stop. Our ongoing investment should be based upon how we can continue to move the needle on our mission:

Connect and empower our employees so that they turn our customers into inspired advocates of our company. 


Ilana Friesen (2016, October 28). What is an Intranet? The Definitive Explanation

Sean Flaherty (2015, September 16). The Loyalty Ladder.

Sean Flaherty (2016, October 4). Trust: How to Use Technology to Generate Trust.

Eric Jorgensen (2015, June 22). The Power of Network Effects: Why They Make Such Valuable Companies, and How to Harness Them

Sean Flaherty (2016, February 11). Customer Loyalty is Not a Transaction.

Sean Flaherty (2017, January 9). Bragging Rights.

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